Local Talk

Frome and its new Steiner school

(12 Posts)
Yorkshirelass444 Fri 25-Jan-13 14:24:54

Hello, I live in Yorkshire but am very keen to live in the south west. I get the impression that frome is quite family orientated and that there's a fair amount of arty stuff going on. Is this the case?
Also am cautiously interested in Steiner education so would be v grateful for any info/opinions on Frome Steiner. Thanks.

saltycaramel Sat 26-Jan-13 10:39:41

Hello! I am the local editor fro Bath and surrounding area. I have twitted your message and asked Frome people to get in touch. Hopefully they will soon. I lived in Frome for a few years before I had my daughter, but I can confirm that Frome has a lovely artistic community and is family orientated. I am not sure about the Steiner school (as I did not have a child then) but hopefully someone will be able to help with that too. Good luck!

ThermalKaty Sat 26-Jan-13 11:20:08

See my response on the national mumsnet site www.mumsnet.com/Talk/education/1668159-Steiner-school-Frome?o=1359199105001#36852692

I said;

Hi, yes I'm in Frome & know all about it. The school is currently operating from a village nearby (Corsley). There have been quite a few people relocating to use it & they have a current planning application in to move into the centre of Frome. This is very contentious because of the traffic issues & at the moment its unlikely to get consent. They plan to increase the size to 650 pupils. I suspect it will stay at Corsley for several more years.

See www.fromepeople.co.uk/Frome-Town-Council-organises-public-meeting-air/story-17437934-detail/story.html & www.steineracademyfrome.co.uk/ & www.quackometer.net/blog/2012/02/frome-steiner-academy-absurd-educational-quackery.html

Yorkshirelass444 Sat 26-Jan-13 13:29:31

Thank you saltycaramel for spreading my message and confirming my internet research as to arty and family side of frome.
Thanks also thermalkaty for your info didn't realise steiner not actually in frome but good to know lots of folk relocated to use it

fromeah Sat 26-Jan-13 17:02:49

Frome does have an arts scene bigger than it ought to do for a town that size, and yes there is a lot of family stuff going on. If you're self-employed it's a good place to be; commuting to Bath is OK, but commuting to Bristol is a pig of the first order.

I would suggest that you have a good look at Steiner education before you commit to it. We thought we wanted to go down that route but after 2 terms at the mother-and-toddler group I was pretty much converted to the idea that it was quite, um, batty.

If you decide it's not for you, it's worth knowing that Frome has a three-tier school system, with First schools up to Yr4, then Middle schools for four years then Frome college. There are some lovely first schools, but many parents think the middle schools are too large. Frome College is currently unsatisfactory but with a new head, so I am sure it will all be lovely soon. hmm

Yorkshirelass444 Sat 26-Jan-13 17:38:16

thanks fromeah, that gives me a lot to chew over. I think I'd have to visit the school and ideally meet other parents. Would you say it was the people or the philosophy that put you off? Or a bit of both! Where my kids are schooled at the mo, i feel it's a bit too mainstream and too academic (stressed out teachers; kids on a treadmill) and some of the parents are v competitive which ain't my thing. that said, both the kids love school/pre-school, so it's me that has the problem!
anyway, i will look up other schools in the area.

fromeah Mon 28-Jan-13 19:20:54

I liked the parents a lot, but thought that the obsessive devotion to the precise works of Rudolph Steiner by the staff was a bit disconcerting. The day I left was the day that I realised that the toddler group leader was cutting corners off pieces of paper (really, sharp corners are damaging to children's psyches) rather than interacting with the children. Then I realised that she never really interacted with the children, just the adults. And don't get me started on the gnomes. Or the people who signed off the newsletter 'fairy blessings'.

The thing about free schools is that anyone who is determined enough to set one up is generally quite monomaniac. Fair play, you need to be. But what that means is that you don't get ones which are like normal schools but nicer, you get ones which are quite out at the fringes. Two were proposed for Frome, the other one was going to be like Summerhill, where children organised their own time and lessons.

Yorkshirelass444 Sat 02-Feb-13 10:02:44

wow- that's all v interesting, thank you! i did wonder just how alternative the frome lot were!! i wouldn't be surprised if there were varying degrees of adherence/devotion to steiner's work depending on the school. for example, the leeds steering group (for free steiner) is a relatively down to earth bunch of people and the existing kindergarten teacher is relaxed and warm and i doubt she'd have much truck with gnomes! equally, the bristol bid is described as "modern" steiner and a desire to incorporate the (orthodox) sciences is evident- my impression is that they want to distance themselves from the weirder elements of steiner philosophy. like you say, it all hinges on the one or two people who set it all up.

Liv1981 Mon 25-Mar-13 21:40:14

Really interesting thread, i am in the exact same position - thinking of possibly moving to frome area for the Steiner school too. Currently live in Bristol but probably live to far away for the potential steiner school here (if it gets accepted). Also have concerns about how extreme it might be although planning to go to the open day in April to see if they can convince me! I do have my reservations about it but dont feel mainstream school is the right option either. My daughter is in Montessori at the moment and so pleased with it but there are no local montessori primary schools so thats why i'm now looking at Steiner but maybe its just a step too far??? Hmmmm!

lolheart Sun 09-Jun-13 20:40:15

Hi there all,
I'm a parent at the Frome Steiner. We moved to the area for the school, with no real prior experience of Steiner other than reading about it. I have to say the school is just wonderful, our daughter is so happy and engaged. Her teacher is wonderful, and there is a lovely feeling of positivity and energy about the school. With it being a state school there is an interesting mix of people, some fairly well versed on Steiner, others complete newbies, and I think that makes for a great balance. I've heard instances of other schools being a bit extreme, and I have to say I have seen nothing of that at this school. There is a general openness and lack of judgment about background from all the parents I've met, and everyone seems pretty gentle and compassionate, I've encountered no "doctrine" at all. Most of the school community seem to be creative/slightly alternative and most are well travelled and interesting. We certainly love it, it has been the perfect transition to school for our family. We like Frome a lot - there are a lot of creative arty people here, a great music, market and independent business scene, and gorgeous countryside. All round a great place. Feel free to message me if you'd like more info.

Yorkshirelass444 Fri 09-Aug-13 14:33:43

ah! just realised more responses to this thread- sorry! my circumstances have changed and can prob no longer relocate to west country but still v interested in people's thoughts on steiner schools. obv the bristol state steiner has been approved since your post, liv1981 which may broaden your choices- have to say- the bristol "lot" are v impressive on paper and i'd def be interested if west country became option again.
and it's really good to hear from parent at existing state steiner, lolheart and yes, i believe there might be quite a difference between state and private steiner...in state steiner favour.

FavouriteAunt Wed 23-Oct-13 17:04:44

I realise this reply is late, but, before you get drawn into the Steiner way, please take some time to review the available information on the role of Anthroposophy in Steiner/Waldorf schools. The experience of many parents and families who have been drawn to the apparently creative and child-centred approach to education has been startling. I know of no other educational approach that has spawned a survivors group.

Many Steiner schools deny that they actively teach Anthroposophy, but parents's experience, in time, proves otherwise.

Have a look for information on Anthroposophy - the basic ideas, its origins and history. There's plenty out there that may surprise you.

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